Castles ~ part 1

It’s been a (long) while since I did a Fraggle Curated post, so as I have a spare day off this weekend I thought why not do an extra post and add to the other ones which, if you haven’t seen them before can be found HERE.

Castles are Forrests of stones” ~ George Herbert

Penrith Castle (and a very small Ben) Wales 1994

“Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.” ~ Jimmy Hendrix

Ben & his castle, Seaburn England 1995

“Don’t live in the castles; freedom is in the fields! But I can also say: Don’t live in the fields; security is in the castles!” ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

Marseille
Chateau d’If, Marseilles, France 2000

“There is no castle so strong that it cannot be overthrown by money“. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Kolossi Castle, Cyprus 2006

“A ruin should always be protected but never repaired – thus may we witness full the lingering legacies of the past.” ~ Walter Scott

Urquhart Castle, Scotland, 2006

“When we look at the ruins, we always get the same feeling: It’s as if the ruin will suddenly come alive and tell its own interesting story!” ~  Mehmet Murat ildan

Château d’Aubry-en-Exmes – Orne, France 2007

“It is as easy to create a castle as a button. It’s just a matter of whether you’re focused on a castle or a button” ~ Esther Hicks

Château Saumur, France 2009

“If you are delighted to be in ancient ruins, you are either a curious historian or a romantic person!”~ Mehmet Murat ildan

Barnard Castle, Co.Durham, England, 2012

“The splendour falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story: The long light shakes across the lakes, And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying”. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Raby Castle, Co.Durham, England 2012

The home to everyone is to him his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose. ~ Edward Coke

Warkworth Castle, Northumberland, England 2013

Have fun storming the castle.” ~ William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire, England, 2013

There’ll be a part 2 at some point 🏰 🙂

Gibside ~ November 2021

I last did a small post on Gibside back in 2013, that no-one just about has seen. Sophie and I did visit in 2016 but the 365 back then got in the way of me doing a Fraggle Report that time. Anyhoo, in November gone, we went looking for autumn, the best time to visit there.

The History Bit ☕️🍪

Gibside,  a country estate, set amongst the peaks and slopes of the Derwent Valley.  Previously owned by the Bowes- Lyon family. It is now a National Trust property. The main house on the estate is now a shell, although the property is most famous for its chapel. The stables, walled garden and Banqueting House are also intact.  It is also the childhood home of Mary Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (24 February 1749 – 28 April 1800), known as “The Unhappy Countess”, who was an 18th-century British heiress, notorious for her licentious lifestyle, who was married at one time the 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She and the Earl are ancestors of Queen Elizabeth 2nd. We’ll get to Mary in part 2.

The Gibside Estate was aquired by the Blakiston Family through marriage around 1540, and Sir William Blakiston (1562–1641) (Willy 1) replaced the old house with a spacious mansion between 1603 and 1620. Jumping forward to 1693, Sir William’s great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Blakiston, married Sir William Bowes (Willy 2) (1657–1707) and as a result the Gibside property came into the possession of the Bowes family in 1713. The joined forces of the two influential families and the aquisition of Gibside gave the Bowes family an even greater influence in the north of the county and a share in the immense wealth that was to be acquired from the coal trade. The Blakiston estate included some of the area’s richest coal seams.

After Willy 2 came George, who inherited the estate in 1722. Dad to Mary, the “Bowes heiress” who married John Lyon, the 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. John had to change his surname to Bowes due to a provision in her father’s will that any suitor had to take the family name. This was a device to continue the Bowes lineage in the absence of a male heir. The estate remained in the Bowes and Bowes-Lyon family until the 20th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries though they carried out many improvements including landscaping, Gibside Chapel, built between 1760 and 1812, the Banqueting House, a column of Liberty,a substantial stable block, an avenue of oaks and several hundred acres of forest. The top floor of the main house was remodelled as a giant parapet and the building was also extended to the side.

Following the death of  John Bowes (the 10th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne) in 1820, it belonged to his legitimated son, yet another John Bowes 🙄 until his death in 1885 (he is buried in the Gibside chapel), when under an established trust, it reverted to his cousin Claude the the 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. It had been the main residence of John Bowes’ mother, Mary Milner, by then Dowager Countess of Strathmore, and her second husband, the politician, Sir William Hutt, (who had been John Bowes’ tutor), until the latter’s death in 1882, which was the last time it was permanently occupied by the family.

I’ll be using photos from across the 3 visits, as we didn’t do everything everytime.

Gibside Chapel (2013)

The mausoleum chapel at the south end of the ‘Grand Walk’ was built following the death of George Bowes owner of the estate, in 1760. The Greek Palladian-style building was designed by James Paine for Lord Strathmore, who had inherited the estate. George Bowes was finally interred in the mausoleum on its completion in 1812. The building is Grade 1 listed on the National Heritage List for England.

Interior (2016)
ceiling detail (2016)
pulpit (pulpit)

The Banqueting House is an 18th Century gothic folly, built 1751 by Daniel Garrett for George Bowes. Restored in 1980 by Charlewood, Curry ,Wilson and Atkinson and is now a holiday home you can rent from the Landmark Trust, so you can’t go in it unless you book a ticket for one of their public heritage days, hopefully we’ll do that this September. Of course if you have £900 and 3 people to share it with you can have a 3 night stay there. It sits atop a small hill with views over the Derwent Valley, and there’s an octagonal pond at the bottom of the hill.

The Banqueting House (2021)
and in 2013
View of Derwent Valley. (2013)

The ‘Column of Liberty’ was commissioned by Sir George Bowes and begun in the 1750s. It reflected his politics as he was a Whig – a liberal political party in the UK which in the 1680s and the 1850s contested power with their rivals, the Tories -(Conservative Party). Set at the top of a steep hillock, the monument itself is a Doric order column, and topped by a standing bronze female figure, originally gilded, carrying a cap of liberty on a pole.

You can see it for miles and here it is, very tiny, seen from the far end of the avenue of oaks known as the Grand Walk.

Column of Liberty. (2021)

Hope you’re not seeing it on a phone screen 🤣

A bit closer then..

And then we’re right there..

Lady Liberty

That will do for today and next time we’ll have a look at the Countess Mary Bowes’ life and times, and see the main house and the orangery.

📷😊

Ormesby Hall – March 2019 -Part 2

PART 1 HISTORY HERE

This week we are going to have a wander around the house. Sophie and I thought it was a bit like a tardis, as it seemed to have far more rooms than the outside appearance would have you think.

You can see examples of  bold Palladian plasterwork and the more delicate neo-classical plasterwork ceilings in the drawing and dining rooms.

Firstly the padded doorway.  This was installed by James Stovin Pennyman (1830-96) to help prevent the sounds of conversation disturbing the household  – he worked in York Lunatic Asylum so it’s possibly where he got that idea from.

Lt-Colonel Alfred Worsley Pennyman KOSB (1883-1914) by Frank Watson Wood (Berwick-upon-Tweed 1862 – Strathyre 1953)

Sir James Pennyman Bt (1736 – 1808) by Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 – London 1792)

drawing room

Lots of ceramics on display in the dining room

and a nice view of one of the formal gardens

upstairs is also quite ornate with the plasterwork everywhere

and every bedroom has a four poster

Loved this corner cupboard from the Netherlands circa 1770 – 1800

More art on the walls

 

Still Life with a Parrot, Fruit and Dead Birds  by Jakob Bogdani (Eperjes (now Presov), Hungary c.1660 – Finchley 1724) 

because who wouldn’t want a parrot and dead birds on the wall??

Beatrix Jane Frances Walker was born on 23 December 1873.1 She was the daughter of Sir James Robert Walker, 2nd Bt. and Louisa Susan Marlborough Heron-Maxwell.2 She married Reverend William Geoffrey Pennyman on 18 February 1901. She died on 17 July 1959 at age 85.1 From 18 February 1901, her married name became Pennyman.

Sir Thomas Pennyman, 2nd Bt (1642 – 1708) Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680)

Ruth Pennyman lived here and in this room, till her end.

and clearly liked her nylon stockings

Them wer’t days.

Enough for this week, and I’ll be back next Thursday with a bit more from the hall.

Stay tooned 🙂

France May 2019 The Watermill part 3

For our final visit to the watermill, I’ll show you some of the interesting things I found walking around the grounds with my camera.

In one of the sheds

A roller in the shed!

 

Yes that was a surprise, here’s a few details of it

There was another one in a lock up, but that still worked apparently. Had a bar in it too!

Garden Feature 😀

Bandsaw Beehive

Tractor No.1

Tractor No.2

Cartwheel

The waterwheels.

Trough

My favourite part was the Water feature.

Water Feature

So that brings me to the end of showing you around the watermill, though if you were interested there’s plenty more to see in the full album (including rusty stuff embedded in ivy and cat pictures) in the full album HERE

All pictures embiggenable with a clickety click.

Oh and finally, it was quite cold in the evenings, and Phil had to pull out his boy scout skills!

Fireman Phil! 🙂

Newcastle Guild Hall, and Quayside ~ December 2017

On my last post, The Camel Parade, I said that that was the last report for a while as I’ve posted everything for my outings in 2017. Well I lied. 🙂 Not so much lied really, as completely overlooked mine and Sophies day out to see the Guildhall in Newcastle.  Usually you are not allowed in the building, but there are Heritage Open days where you can get a guided tour of it, and Sophie booked us to go on one.

The History Bit

The building was designed by Robert Trollope and completed in 1655. Trollope was a 17th-century English architect, born in Yorkshire, who worked mainly in Northumberland and Durham. A propos of nothing, he was buried in St Mary’s church Gateshead where he’d designed and built his own monument with statue of himself and inscription that reads
“Here lies Robert Trollop

Who made yon stones roll up

When death took his soul up

His body filled this hole up”.

More Pam Ayres than Wordsworth, but he lives on in his magnificent buildings.

The frontage of the building was rebuilt to designs by William Newton and David Stephenson in 1794. The east end of the building is an extension designed by John Dobson and completed in 1823.

So on with the pictures!

In the stairwell on the way up to the courtrooms

Charles II in Roman Army Gear, who knows why!  His feet look really big to me!

The statue was placed originally placed at the North End of the Tyne Bridge, on the restoration of Charles II to the throne.  It had the motto Adventus Regis solemn gregis. i.e the coming of the king is the comfort of his people.On 15th June 1771 it was moved and placed in a niche on the side of the Exchange (this is what the Guildhall was known as back then).  It was finally moved to where it is now in 1794.  I got this information from a book published in 1826 by John Sykes (bookseller of Newcastle), and the full fascinating story can be found HERE 

The courtroom

In 1649 15 people were hanged on the Town Moor for the crime of Witchcraft, they were tried here.

Mind your head!

The Merchant Adventurers Hall was quite something..

John 21:6 🙂

Ceiling detail

All the mayors coats of arms, from then until now.

Fake fire!

 

Had me fooled! 🙂

 

Stay tooned for part 2, which will be even more stunning than part 1, really! 😀

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